The Square (1995)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Sociology, Politics & Government  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - China  |  
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This fascinating and daring Chinese documentary has as interesting a history as it does a subject matter. The filmmaker, Zhang Yuan was banned from making films in 1994. That did not stop him from surreptitiously making this film right in front of the authorities. It is simply an examination of the daily activities on Beijing's infamous Tiannamen Square. Without narration it peeks in on the activities of state TV journalists interviewing police officers who proudly state their national pride. Children are also seen to be terribly nationalistic as they are quizzed during a flag raising ceremony. Tourists stand before the giant portrait of Mao taking pictures. Kites are flown, frisbees tossed, and skateboards clatter upon the square while groups slowly practice tai chi. When a visiting foreign dignitary is given a gun salute, the camera focuses upon the somber, slightly nervous faces of passerby. Perhaps they are remembering the great conflict of 1989.

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Keywords

journal, nationalism, police